Referee shoved by Jardine responds

by Mike Chiappetta | source:

Steve Armstrong's night was nearly over. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation referee had just presided over the Shark Fights 13 co-main event, and now he was waiting to do his last pre-fight check over main event participant Keith Jardine.

Armstrong waited in the aisle of the Amarillo Civic Center as Jardine threw his arms up for the cheering crowd and approached him. As they intersected, Armstrong stopped Jardine with his right hand in order to begin his mandatory check. In a flash, Jardine pushed Armstrong's hand away and then stared at the veteran referee for a beat before shoving him backwards.

That quick exchange, which took just 2.5 seconds in real time, landed Jardine an indefinite suspension at the hands of the state's athletic sanctioning body, TDLR. In an interview with MMA Fighting, Armstrong explained how the incident took place and his thoughts on the actions that landed the MMA veteran in hot water.

"I think he was zoning. He was fixing to fight a big fight. I was trying to stop him, and he smirked and pushed me. I said, 'You push me again, you're DQ'd.' Then he patted my shoulder like he realized what was going on. I think he got caught in the moment."

"I don't know if I would've even brought it up. But the commissioner and assistant commissioner were sitting 10 feet away so they were watching the whole thing. They asked me why he pushed me. I said, 'I don't know.' And I really don't know. It wasn't something I did, that's for sure."

"He's got a lot of fights, he should know better. There's no excuse but I didn't want to see him get suspended indefinitely. I just wanted to know, 'Hey, do you have a mouthpiece and a cup on?' In every fight that's checked, so this is nothing new to Keith. We're always going to look at your gloves and do those checks. That's all very standard, going through that checkpoint."

"I think the state doesn't want anyone else to do this, so they may be making a statement that this is not the way you conduct yourself. And it's true, you have to conduct yourself as a professional. But I believe everyone makes mistakes. You'd have to look at his career and see if he has a habit of doing these things. If it's his first offense, it's not a habitual thing. He seems like pretty much a gentleman. I think he got carried away in a big moment, in a big fight. I wish him the best. I didn't take it personally, but it's not up to me."

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Recent Comments »

DaddyRich site profile image  

9/21/10 10:29 AM by DaddyRich

I haven't seen the video in real time but slowed down videos can be misleading.

abnerman site profile image  

9/21/10 10:17 AM by abnerman

That gif does make it look a little more dramatic than the video. I guess whether he knew the guy was a ref or not doesn't have any bearing on whether the push was appropriate or not. It wasn't. But suspension-worthy? Not in my opinion. (And on a side note, the referee seems like a sensible guy based on his comments. I doubt that he will be tugging on a fighters shirt in such a zealous and frankly unnecessary fashion in the future.)

Didraco site profile image  

9/19/10 4:39 AM by Didraco

He looks annoyed that the ref tries to take his shirt off for him. Like.. ¨I can take my shirt of myself!¨ On top of that he was under a huge amount of pressure for this fight.

FightMeI'mIrish site profile image  

9/18/10 1:31 PM by FightMeI'mIrish

Watch that gif.He knew it was the ref, the guy is wearing black rubber gloves.And he starts taking off his shirt like he was told *before* he decided to turn back around and shove the ref.

West Coast Nancy site profile image  

9/18/10 11:59 AM by West Coast Nancy

some people crack under pressure and some people shinewe know what kind of person jardine is under pressurehe's a bj penn

Rob Monroe site profile image  

9/18/10 11:45 AM by Rob Monroe

looks way more dramatic in slow motion for sure. It happened much quicker than that.

livedevil site profile image  

9/18/10 11:43 AM by livedevil

He should be suspended for that-- he looks to be completely out of line with his actions in the video. Jardine slapped the guy's hand away, stared at him then shoved him away for seemingly out of disgust. For what? The ref touched his clothing?They should fine him, too, IMO.

Rob Monroe site profile image  

9/18/10 11:29 AM by Rob Monroe

I was the cutman standing behind the ref. I didnt see it as Keiths fault or the ref for that matter. Keith for the last five or so years has walked to the "cage door" in the UFC to be greased and checked. The walk at Sharkfights had him come to a Y in the road, go left or right? It was dark. No spotlights or lighting indicating where to stop. Basically a mob of people waving their arms, both fans and officials, camera crew and photogs all in that area. The ref was wearing all black. Keith was in a zone and was walking to the door. Ref tried to stop him which he has to do. I dont believe even when Keith looked at the ref that he knew he was an official when he shoved him. On the refs behalf. He turned to me and joked that he has been shoved harder than that and laughed it off like it was no big deal. I fully believe Keith didnt have a clue that it was the ref and im also positive that the ref wasnt responsible for asking the commission for the suspension. He was correct when he said the commission officials were sitting a short distance away and saw what happened. Keith never meant any harm nor did the ref.

Jpbv site profile image  

9/17/10 7:57 PM by Jpbv

He will be fine there are plenty of other states to fight in.